Does Meditation Reduce Arthritis Activity and Inflammation?

Christine Miller Health Guide
  • A recent study presented at a conference for the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine found that meditation programs benefited people with rheumatoid arthritis by reducing psychological stress, decreasing disease activity and decreasing nonspecific inflammation.

    The six-month study included 63 patients who all received regular care from their rheumatologist and took prescribed medications. The study group was also asked to practice a meditation program at home for six hours per week in addition to their regular care. The study found that psychological stress was reduced by 30 percent in the meditation group after two months, but only 10 percent in the control group. After six months, psychological stress in the meditation group decreased slightly more, by 3 percent It was reduced 2 percent more in the control group.
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    While the study found that there was no reduction in disease activity after two months, after six months, the control group continued to have no change, while the meditation group’s disease activity decreased by 11 percent. Nonspecific inflammation also decreased more significantly in the meditation group over six months (35 percent) while inflammation only decreased 11 percent in the control group.

    This study does suggest that meditation used in conjunction with regular or traditional arthritis care may benefit patients. Other studies are also finding similar results, that alternative therapies such as meditation, acupuncture and massage therapy used in conjunction with other traditional health care services such as nutritional counseling, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychiatry and rheumatology may produce better outcomes for patients that traditional treatments alone.

    Have you ever used any forms of alternative treatments for your arthritis? Did you find that they helped with inflammation, movement, disease activity or your overall outlook and mental health? I encourage readers to post comments or add to the message board discussion. I would be really interested to hear alternative therapies people are trying and the results.
Published On: June 05, 2006